No decision yet on return of Tigress ‘Sundari’: Forests Minister

Bhubaneswar: Forests and Environment Minister Bijayashree Routray on Friday said that no decision was taken yet on return of tigress Sundari to the Bandhavgarh National Park in Madhya Pradesh after it allegedly mauled a woman to death in Satakosia wildlife sanctuary in Angul district on Wednesday.

“The local administration can’t take a decision on the shifting of the tigress. Even the State Government has no role in it. Wildlife Institute can take a final call on it. We will submit a report to the Wildlife Institute soon,” said Routray.

The Minister said it was not clear as to who killed the woman. “We have to wait for post mortem report to ascertain the exact reason of the death,” said Routray.

The decision of shifting Sundari was taken after local residents resorted to a violent protest following the death of the woman after being allegedly attacked by the tigress on Wednesday.

To tranquilise the royal cat, two teams of forest officials from Dehradun in Uttarakhand and Bandhavgarh National Park are on the way to Satkosia, said Angul Superintendent of Police Mitrabhanu Mohapatra on Thursday.

Notably, tension ran high after the woman, identified as Kailashi Soya, was allegedly killed by the tigress at Hatibari under Tikarapada range in Satkosia forest on Wednesday.

The 27-month-old Sundari was released into the Satkosia Tiger Reserve on August 17 to increase the population of the big cat in the sanctuary.

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